To get the narcissist to see a therapist is difficult. The therapeutic situation implies a superior-inferior relationship. The therapist is supposed to help him â and, to the narcissist, this means that he is not as omnipotent as he imagines himself to be. The therapist is supposed to know more (in his field) than the narcissist â a presumption which seems to undermine the second pillar of narcissism, that of omniscience.
Attending therapy (of whatever nature) implies both imperfection (something is wrong) and need (read: weakness, inferiority). The therapeutic setting (the client visits the therapist, has to be punctual and to pay for the service) â implies subservience. The process itself is also threatening: it involves transformation, losing one's identity (read: uniqueness), one's long cultivated defences.
The narcissist must shed his False Self and face the world naked, defenceless, and (to his mind) pitiful. He is inadequately equipped to deal with his old hurts, traumas and unresolved conflicts. His True Self is infantile, mentally immature, frozen, incapable of confronting the almighty Superego (the narcissist's inner, chastising, voices). The narcissist knows this â and recoils. Therapy demands of him to finally place full, unmitigated, trust in another human being.
Moreover, the transaction implicitly offered to him is the most unappealing imaginable. He is to give up decades of emotional investment in an elaborate, adaptive and, mostly, functioning, mental hyper structure. In return, he stands to become "normal" â an anathema to a narcissist. Being normal, to him, means, being average, not unique, non-existent. Why should the narcissist commit himself to such a move when it doesn't even guarantee him happiness (he sees many unhappy "normal" people around)?
(From the book "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" by Sam Vaknin - Click on this link to purchase: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html)